Roy Nishida said he was just 7 years old when he remembers His Eminence Monshu Kojun Ohtani’s grandfather “baptizing” him as a Buddhist on Maui, and Jim Jung (he even got a copy of Monshu-sama’s new book autographed) flew to Oahu with the Rev. Mieko Majima to become a Jodo Shinshu Buddhist under services officiated by the Gomonshu.
Kudos to the Kauai Buddhist Council on hosting Gomonshu to a successful visit (Pieper Toyama — Jill Kouchi said he’s originally from the Big Island — even wanted the recipe for the Mark’s Place and Contemporary Flavors Catering salad featuring fresh asparagus, tomato and red onion with soy vinaigrette).
Masami Kouchi found photos of Gomonshu’s grandmother and parents hanging on the wall of 105-year-old Yoshiko Shimabukuro’s house, and the Rev. Yoshiko Morioka of the Hongwanji Press had to stop and admire the mushroom growing in the yard at the West Kauai Hongwanji, Hanapepe Temple.
Alton Miyamoto (he even got the Men of the Koi Dynasty to perform for Gomonshu) and Roberta Yanagawa both described the event as “ichigo ichie,” or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Kauai to meet a direct descendant of Shinran Shonin, the founder of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism more than 800 years ago.